Introduction: In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield podcast: 5 Ways To Mitigate Damage From Endurance Sports, Should You Change Your Running Form, Is Deer Meat Healthy, Is Progesterone Dangerous, Do Standing Workstations Cause Varicose Veins, Getting Rid Of Heavy Metals, and the Magnetico vs. Biomat Sleep Pads.
Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast. We provide you with free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon, and wellness advice from the top fitness experts in the nation. So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete, or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Brock: So did you see any gators lately?
Ben: Gators. I actually saw big gator. I am here in Florida and went for a run yesterday on the last day of our Team Timex Camp at the IMG Performance Center in Bradenton and lo and behold, about a ten footer I’d say on this little trail back behind the academy. I think it’s probably been eating young teenage….
Brock: Small children…
Ben: …. tennis players, yeah, and finished up camp which was great and I’m actually up here in Orlando now where my kids are gonna come in and go to Lego Land and I’m actually podcasting – I’m gonna put up a photo to our facebook page. I’m podcasting standing up in the hotel room with the computer perch next to the tv and my microphone inside my running shoes sandwich between two pillows. That is how much I love our listeners.
Brock: That is ingenious. I love it!
Ben: In the delivery of quality audio so….
Brock: So the folks at home can smell something that kinda vaguely smells like cheese. (laughs) That’s the running shoe.
Brock: Or maybe it’s the pillow depending on the quality of the hotel you are staying in.
Ben: I actually carry around a clove powder that I sprinkle into my running shoes so they smell like a clean baby’s butt and I use the stuff from Hammer Nutrition….
Brock: What do you feed your babies?
Ben: …. called cool feet (laughs) and I only feed my babies ….
Brock: …. And stinky cheese.
Brock: All right if you don’t already follow Ben on twitter.com what the heck is wrong with you because everyday I’d say there’s another cool study that he’s putting up on the internet for the people to find out about and this is the part of the show where we’re gonna whip through the mall.
Ben: That’s right and let’s start with something really happy…. The death test. This was a study… hey! The death testing it’s a….
Brock: They do better than Lego Land, don’t they?
Ben: I believe so since everything is awesome.
Brock: Everything is awesome in Lego Land. (music)
Ben: So what they’ve done in this study is – researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Finland (of all places) they did a blood analysis to figure out which of the most important blood parameters are most likely to predict your risk of death or susceptibility to disease so they looked at a bunch of them, four different biomarkers though turned out to be the biomarkers that need to be looked at when it comes to finding out if you’re gonna die early or have an increased risk of death.
Brock: So this is more accurate than the death clock that you can look up on the internet?
Ben: Even more accurate than the internet death clock. So if you wanna test these biomarkers or you wanna go to wellness fx or you wanna approach your doctor and you wanna look at these biomarkers and we’ll link to the study in the show notes too over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/275. The biomarkers are: (drum roll please) alpha-1 acid glycoprotein ….
Brock: I love that one….
Ben: …. which basically indicates the level of glycation that’s occurring in your body and by the way glycation is something that happens when you consume processed sugars along with fats or along with proteins such as the nice baked goodie and also something that forms when you consume vegetable oils, so no surprises there.
Brock: Does it also form when you get old?
Ben: Technically yeah, you do get some connective tissue degradation and glycoprotein adhesions and tangles as you age but that is all accelerated I mean we’re talking about kinda of a flipping in the middle finger to the aging process that’s all accelerated when you’re consuming foods that accelerate the process.
Brock: Keeping the machines and running away… yeah, will do that.
Ben: Exactly. So albumin is another one and up until this study that was really the only biomarker that scientists in the past have actually linked to poor health is albumin. And then, the next one was citrate and also low density lipoprotein but not ldl cholesterol more specifically ldl lipoprotein particles so that would be a test called an apo
b test that you can get and if that’s highly elevated that indicates high levels of inflammation, propensity for infection, propensity for decreased vascular health and also the albumin and the citrate are linked to lower liver and kidney function. So the four are: alpha-1 acid, glycoprotein, albumin, citrate and ldl particles. So you could actually go to your doc and kind of a do it yourself “am I gonna die test” and ask just ask them to run that panel for you and then if you wanna kinda take things into your own hand and go over and look at the study and see how your numbers match up to what they saw in that death test, you can go do it. We’ll link to it over at the show notes.
Brock: All right that’s the way to scare either make yourself feel a lot better about everything or scare the absolute bageebaz of yourself.
Ben: That’s right because we all wanna know the exact moment we’re gonna die.
Ben: So we can just basically go crack cocaine and beer up to that point. Beer next to extra crack cocaine is kinda innocent. Yeah.
Brock: Yeah, really like that’s – you can survive quite long time on beer just ask the Egyptians.
Ben: That’s true! That’s true.
Brock: But I don’t think crack cocaine has ever been held in any sort of high esteem by any civilization except maybe our Toronto mayor.
Ben: And people in Las Vegas. Okay, number 2 – don’t have carbs with your fatty coffee. Now this tweet was sparked by me reading a study out of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Incidentally, I actually spent the past 3 days exercising at the gym right next to the Gatorade Sports Science Institute because it’s at the IMG Performance Academy. And they actually have an interesting study that came out called..…
Brock: It’s really some cool stuff. It’s sad that they’re actually called the Gatorade Sports Institute because they do some really cool studies and I think this day and age they’ve got a really bad rep.
Ben: Yeah they do and they’re lab is very cool. They have some pretty damn expensive treadmills in that lab let me tell you. And everything from….
Brock: They should change the name to damn expensive treadmill lab.
Ben: Yeah, the damn expensive treadmill lab, DET.
Brock: ….of awesomeness.
Ben: Anyways, this study was called New Concepts in Fat Metabolism During Exercise and one of the things that really left out at me in this study was it looked at the utilization of triglycerides by muscle tissue. And the fact that muscle can really easily feed intra-muscular triglycerides into the kreb cycle to produce ATP during exercise. But the interesting thing is that the one thing that can inhibit the mobilization of triglycerides for use as an energy source is insulin secretion so the take away from this is that of you consume something that spikes your insulin levels along with something that you’re taking to enhance fatty acid utilization like say coconut oil or medium chained triglyceride oil, bulletproof coffee drinkers (laughs) what happens is that you inhibit your mobilization of your own fat stores or the fat stores that you consume along with that say fatty cup of coffee. So what you need to do is if you’re gonna do something like a bulletproof coffee or mct oil or coconut oil or something like that for fat loss you need to make sure that you’re not consuming carbohydrates along with it. Okay, so that means honey and sugar that would be out. I’d sweeten that kind of stuff with stevia, cinnamon things of that nature. And then of course the other thing that’s very insulinogenic is something like say whey protein and I know some people have been doing things like adding whey protein or protein powders to fatty coffee. It would be better to go with either amino acids or collagen and that’s what I personally do when I make myself a cup of something like bulletproof is I put in not a whey protein source but an amino acid or collagen base source. So FYI if you’re trying to use that as a fat burning trick make sure that you’re not getting an insulin spike along with it.
Brock: So is it really having carbs along with it or like the same time or should there be a window on either side so like you don’t have any have for another four hours or something…
Ben: You would ideally be for ideal fat loss starting off your day with like a breakfast in a fasted state of that type of fatty coffee…..
Brock: So you haven’t anything since dinner the night before you have that and then you wait x amount of hours?
Ben: Yup, ‘cause depending on who you are and some are gonna stay in your bloodstream after a carbo protein base meal from anything from 1 to 4 hours. So, okay. And then the last thing I wanted to mention was a brand new study out from our friends over at coolfatburner.com. They just published a brand new video over there on a study that they did that involved two different pet scans which allow them to look at the activation of brown adipose tissue which is that fatty tissue that can basically when you’re cold burn your own fat calories to generate heat. So what they did was they compared sitting in a normal 70 degree Fahrenheit room for an hour and looked at what happened with brown adipose tissue activity and they did that by actually injecting radioactive tracers into the body that allow them to track the movement of fat throughout the body and then they compare that with the use of a cool fat burner vest in the same room but while wearing this cool fat burner vest for an hour at a level that cause them mild amount of shivering which is not hard to do with that vest on and then what they looked at was the actual brown fat activity and I’ll link over to the blog ‘cause it’s really interesting, they actually show the scans and you see the brown adipose tissue activation especially around like the neck and the collar bones and around the ribs and down around the kidneys just through the roof compared to not cooling the body. So it’s really interesting, it proves that you do indeed get a huge boost in metabolic activity even when you do something as simple as decrease the temperature of your upper body by wearing a vest that has some ice packs in it and so this is actually the little biohack that I liked to go like if let say you have the flexibility to say get up in the morning not eat breakfast but do just something like that fatty coffee instead and then combine it with say an hour of work wearing this cool fat burner vest. That’s a really cool little one-two fat burning biohack combo that if you wanna burn fat you don’t have time to exercise, you need to get some work done, really good way to do it or maybe you’ve finished the night before on whatever….
Brock: popcorn and chocolate….
Ben: Yeah, poutine and beer exactly. So, or popcorn and butterscotch chips. Butterscotch chips are really good in popcorn.
Brock: Butterscotch chips…. Never heard of them.
Ben: ….. and sea salt.
Brock: Hmmp. So wait, how did they see the activation or what do they do to see the brown adipose tissue?
Ben: It’s called the PET Scan.
Brock: Oh, PET scan okay you said that.
Ben: Yeah, Positron Emission Tomography I think, yeah.
Brock: ….. tomography, yeah. That stuff is super cool.
Ben: Uhmm, not the pet scan where you take your kitten and put it on, totally different. (laughs)
Brock: Last time I looked over at Men’s Health e-wear shall I say kicking everyone’s ass in the votes.
Ben: Well I’m trying to hack them the Men’s Health Magazine fitness vote. They’re doing a search for what they call the next big name in fitness. So they’re looking for what they’re calling the best trainer that Men’s Health hasn’t yet discovered and they describe it as a fitness professional who has a top mind in the field but who also looks the part and who has the ability to captivate any audience. I think I might have one of three of those.
Brock: I have none of three which is by you won’t find me on that….
Ben: So anyways, you can vote for me to be the Men’s Health top trainer and right now we are destroying everybody else you can vote everyday. I’ve just been leaving a browser window open and go to twitter and voting everyday. Check it out – you can check it out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/menshealth and I think it would be freaking awesome if we had the Ben Greenfield fitness army allow us to rock the vote and….
Brock: Yeah, just blow it up…
Ben: And also I put a video on there, a body weight workout video called Grounded and it’s a 2 minute body weight workout and you should try that out too because it’s actually good workout.
Brock: Awesome, killer! It’s really good workout.
Ben: And speaking of crowd sourcing, I’m a fan of kickstarter and there’s this really cool new fitness apparatus called monkii bars over there and this is actually like a portable monkii bar set and this – I know it sounds really konky and heavy but it’s literally just these 2 tiny bars that have 18 feet of high weight high resistant suspension line stored inside each bar and if you go there and watch the videos on the kickstarter campaign which I’ll put a link to in the show notes.
You can really toss this in everything, you can adjust them, you can workout, you can hang, you can get pull-ups, you can do balancing it’s way, way different than a TRX and they just look really cool. They have like this aerospace grid aluminum core and this maple grip, now maple syrup Brock, the actual treat.
Brock: Yeah, I’m pretty excited there for a second.
Ben: I know you did I heard you’re salivating. Monkii bars….
Brock: We actually put maple syrup on our hands to give us better grip.
Ben: There you go so you can use that along with your monkii bars. But check that out at the monkii bars kickstarter campaign. I love what these guys are doing and just going to that page and have yourself watch the video is worth it and with kickstarter you can just make a little donation, you can even reserve your own set of monkii bars, so check that out and….
Brock: It’s monkii – m-o-n-k-i-i.
Ben: M-o-n-k-i-i, that’s right and I’ll put a link over in the show notes to it too.
Ben: And then also there’s this brand new optimal reset over at Jack Kruse’s website and I wanted to mention that to folks because I actually am speaking on that about How to Biohack Your Way to Optimize Human Performance. Now over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/optimal you can go visit it but already they’ve got some webinars out there like Creating your Optimal Kitchen, Overcoming Hunger and Sugar Cravings, Getting Started with Cold Thermogenesis, Creating Optimal Sleep, Healing your Hormones, Getting Started with Biohacking, Reducing EMF Exposure in your Home or Office, Finding a Doctor to Help You Biohack, really like a lot of pretty cool stuff. Some of these online conferences I think are a bunch of fluff that’s already been repeated multiply times elsewhere but this one does have some good presenters and people are kinda fly under the radar like that Tim Jackson guy that I had on last week to talk about digestion hormones, he’s on there. So check that out, it’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/optimal.
Brock: There’s one thing that Dr. Kruse does well it’s not give you the obvious solutions to things or things you’ve heard a thousand times before. He sort of – he airs on the side of the tin foil hat sometimes but that’s what I like about him.
Ben: He does and he does – I’m happy about this have people other than him on this comfort so. You can actually understand it without necessarily having a PhD so here you go bengreenfeildfitness.com/optimal.
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Listener Q & A:
Abigail: Hi, my name is Abigail and I’m 22 years old. I’ve been running since I was about 16 quite consistently until this past October I had an injury that has prevented from those consistent runs. Before that I was in shorter distances and shorter races such as 5k’s, 10k’s and I did half marathon. I really like the idea of endurance running and I’m working on training for a triathlon and eventually I would like to compete in several marathons. My ultimate goal however is to go to Greece for my 50thbirthday and complete the 150 mile Spartathlon. I’d like to start training once I hit 23 but I read your article on how endurance athletes are unhealthyand I was just wondering if you think this is something I should pursue or not. I look forward to hearing your answer. Thank you.
Brock: I have a strange feeling that you – you wrote a book about, I think didn’t you?
Ben: I did. I, that….
Brock: Isn’t it to suppose to come out like last week? Oh, I should know about that.
Ben: Gosh! I mean, for everybody whose trying to order my book or who has ordered my book please understand that this book was out of my
hands once I wrote all the chapters so the way that the book author and goes is you write it you finish up the manuscript you send it out to the publisher and then any delays from there once you meet your deadline are out of your hands so like the cover, the publishing, the printing all that stuff, I have no control over. You can certainly order right now at beyondtrainingbook.com. It certainly does come with a ton of bonuses. I’ve already written nine hidden chapters that go along with the book. I mean, you get along with it – I, according to my publisher have a copy at home right now on my doorstep. I know that some bloggers are receiving copies right now so I know that there are copies printed but ultimately it’s a concern, I’m not gonna be the boy that cried wolf for too much longer. So beyondtrainingbook.com, anyways though….
Brock: The boy who cried book….
Ben: …. Yeah to address Abigail’s question – there – so we’ve talked before in the podcast and I’ve certainly talked in the book before about how endurance sports can be unhealthy especially for females. I know we have a question about a man really later on this podcast where I can get into how endurance actually affects what’s called your hypothalamus, your production of hormones. What I would rather give Abigail rather than re-hatching stuff I’ve already talked about that I’ll link to over in the show notes whether you can find in my book about how endurance sports can deplete hormones or cause some joint issues or reset your metabolic rate to be low or those type of things. What I wanna talk about are some ways that you can mitigate the damage like practical things that I think every endurance athlete should be doing male or female especially female because I tend to see hormonal disregulation in those population. But the things you can just do right away to address some of the damage, if you’re gonna go off and try to race a 150 mile race, if you’re gonna go off and do ironman triathlons, marathons kinda go and dip in the any type of endurance efforts that shove you basically above the point where you’ve exercise from more than 1 and a half to two hours so where you’re reaching glycogen depletion and you begin to call off stamina and endurance. What can you do to address that? So, I’m gonna give you 5 things: The first is you want to get a baseline. There are 2 tests that I believe that every endurance athlete on the face of the planet should do once a year – that’s a blood test and a gut test. Now, the very best blood test to either go and get or to print off from this website and bring in to your physician is the performance panel from wellnessfx. I personally flew down to San Francisco, I helped them put together the actual components that are measured on that panel. It is anything from DHEA, to your kidney markers, your liver markers, your red blood cells, your white blood cells, your full lipid panel, the most important inflammatory markers, Vitamin D, red blood cell magnesium I mean pretty much everything that you would need to know to be able to look at your results and say, “Okay, whatever, I’m low in vitamin D so I either need to take a break from training or I need to introduce vitamin D rich source foods into my diet, I need to start in to some cod liver oil or I need to get more sunlight,” anything like that but another strategy you can use, you can just go to WellnessFX and I’ll put a link to this performance panel in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/275. You can print that off and bring it to your doctor and be just like, “Hey, run these tests for me,” I mean, you can work around WellnessFX. If you wanted to, you can go to WellnessFX they’ve got practitioners including myself over there who can walk you through your results but once a year I personally do it four times a year but because I worked for WellnessFX I get a good deal and then you can add that it can be expensive but at least once a year.
Brock: It is pretty expensive.
Brock: It is like $800 or something for the….
Ben: To do the full meal deal, yeah, but ultimately you can submit that to your insurance and I consider to be preventive health care because the hospital bills that you’re wrack up if you do wind up living the latter half of your life with joint degradation and type 2 diabetes and a lot of the other stuff that – that chronic cardio can cause are not necessarily worth it. So that’s test number 1….
Brock: On doing that once a year to like you think how much you spend on coffees. I bet …..
Ben: That’s right.
Brock: These crappy Starbucks coffee.
Ben: The classic salesman approach, well…
Brock: If you would just quit drinking a latte a day, you can save money. How much are you spending on cigarettes?
Ben: Okay, so the second test is the gut test.
My favorite test for this is a test that we talked about with Dr. Tim Jackson last week called the GI Effects Panel. This is a stool test, it get send to your home, the current panel that I really like is called the 2205 you can order it if you’re in the States wholesale through a company called Directlabs, if you live in the U.K. there’s a really good professional triathlete over there named Tamsin Lewis who has a website called curoseven.com shall be all to hook you up with some ideas where you can get these tests done over there or the equivalent of it. If you live in Australia (you’re screwed) but you’ve got hardier genes over there anyways you don’t have to worry any of these stuff.
Brock: If you live in Canada just send it to me.
Ben: Yeah, so that’s right send your stool to Brock.
Brock: Looks goody!
Ben: Looks like poop you’re good. So, GI effects panel is gonna test for a lot of the issues that athletes wind up with parasites, yeast, fungus, candida overgrowth. A lot of these stuff that tends to fly under the radar but do damage over the years so that’s number one is – you’re if gonna do endurance sport commit to one gut test and one blood test a year and just do it. Number 2 is to include foods in your diet that help to replace a lot of the hormones that you’re gonna be burning through it a very rapid phase especially when you’re competing in endurance sports or you’re doing a lot of chronic cardio or foods that basically help to rebuild bones more quickly or rebuild muscles more quickly and I know everybody is gonna wrinkle their nose when I say this and you know what I’m gonna say but basically organ meats and offal. So, organ meats would include things like liver, kidney, heart, sweetbreads a lot of the foods that our ancestors used to eat. Well at the same time throwing the lean muscle to the dogs ironically and that we have lost touch with our culture today. I just published today at bengreenfieldfitness.com a fantastic article that goes on the 25 foods that you should be eating and 11 foods you should be avoiding. That article was influenced by the author of a fantastic book called Deep Nutrition which goes into these ancestral eating concepts. Brock and I actually have the pleasure to hang out a few days with the author of Deep Nutrition Dr. Cate Shanahan down in Mexico last week and spend a few good dinners talking all about liver and organ meats while drinking wine.
Brock: I gotta say like hanging with that Paleo crowd, it was actually kinda sexy how many other girls were into organ meat.
Ben: Hmm yeah, I will go there.
Brock: Did I just put us out a little reverse?
Ben: I will go there. Okay, so organ meats. Another one is bone marrow. Bone marrow is easy to get by making bone broth. It’s easy to get by making sure that you even do something as simple as like when you make bone broth, keeping the bones eating the (this is some kind of gross) eating the little joint piece at the end of the chicken bones for example and sucking the marrow out. Bone marrow can actually be made, it’s fantastic to do like a beef bone marrow. I’ll put a link in the show notes for this episode to a recipe that my wife does. If all of these just sounds way too laborious for you though you can at least go and get like a good Argentine liver extract for example. NOW Foods makes a good one. Now the reason I say Argentine is because Argentine beef liver is a good kind of liver because the Argentine government won’t allow their beef herds to be contaminated with growth hormone. So if you get a liver extract or a liver powder because you don’t have the time to eat liver or you don’t like the taste of liver, this would be a good way for you to get a lot of the valuable hormone supporting components that you’re gonna get from liver but be sure that you’re not getting growth hormones along with it, so an Argentine base source of liver is really good. Another thing you wanna look into of course if you’re aren’t gonna eat say like sweetbreads or you’re not gonna do a lot of organ meats would be a thyroid extract but something that includes a full thyroid spectrum meaning T1, T2, T3, and T4 and this may seem like a lot to go through but you’re asking your body to go through does not necessarily natural. It’s like a noise that heck out of me when somebody says, “Want me to go a do a 150 mile run but I’m not gonna take any supplements, go to my way to do any special covered protocols ‘cause I just wanna live naturally,” it’s like technically living naturally doesn’t involve, yeah, that ain’t natural running a 150 miles. So you do have to go out of your way and use better living through science to address some of the damage. So, T1, T2, T3, and T4 a good supplement is called Thyrogold, thyroid extract that one is out in New Zealand, I believe it’s thyrogold.com if you just google thyrogold or I’ll put a link in the show notes for this. That’s another one that I would highly recommend.
So organ meats, bone marrow, desiccated liver preferably Argentinean origin and then a thyroid extract that’s T1, T2, T3 and T4 especially for women okay and even more especially if you’re testing and you see things in your blood results like high level enzymes, high THS, low T3, low T4 stuff like that. So number 3 would be to use a minimalist training program. Now with my book at beyond training I’d include 12 free programs and all of those are well either written from a minimalist training program standpoint or another training standpoint we have no time to get into in today’s podcast called polarized training but I’ve got minimalist training programs like triathlondominator.com for triathletes or marathondominator.com for marathoners and what those are based on are using short high intensity interval training sessions sprinkled throughout the week preferably taking 48-72 hours before interval training sessions that are specific to a single sport. So what that would mean is you would do 2 hit sessions for the run, 2 hit sessions for the swim and 2 hits session for the bike per week but like the bike hit sessions would be Monday and Thursday, the run hit sessions would be Tuesday and Saturday and the swim hit sessions would be like Wednesday and Sunday. So you’re giving your nervous system and your muscles recovery between each of those sessions and then the other thing is only 1 long workout per week per sport so let’s say for a triathlete only 1 long swim, 1 long bike and 1 long run per week but the definition of long is way different. So long would be like for example, a long run would be for a marathoner a 70-90 minute run that’s just a series of very focus race phase efforts with recovery periods in between each or a long bike for an ironman triathlete would be for example a 2 and a half to 3 hour ride as opposed to a 5-6 hour ride again with short race phase base intervals spread throughout or a swim would be like a 4 by 500 rather than like a steady state 4,000 meter swim. So minimalist training with a thrust that a high intensity training is still going to result in endurance adaptations and favorable endurance adaptations we should do and I’m actually getting in about a week here, one of the athlete whom I coached for Kona I did about a 45 minute long interview with him on some of the strategies that we used for him to help mitigate the effects of chronic cardio and so I have to do really well in ironman Hawaii. Okay so number 4 would be consistent use of de-stressing protocols and this is for dome reason the hardest for me to convince folks to do is to consider the fact that you only have x number of stress points during the day. Okay, we’ll just picture it this way. Let’s see you have a 100 stress points during the day, okay whether it is stress from life, from electro magnetic field exposure from your computer, from relationship conflicts, from work duties or from exercise, all of those eat up those stress points. Okay, so you only have so many stress points in the bank and it’s not like you can work all day, be low on sleep and just like throw down the workout and have that workout be the only stress. Everything else you’re doing counts as stress too so you must must must mitigate stress. I have an article that I’ll link to in the show notes called 7 Of the Best Ways to Stop Stress and it goes into a great detail kind of why the mind body connection is important but just a brief overview, the top 7 protocols for reducing stress are: number 1, to learn deep diaphragmatic breathing and to use it consistently. Number 2, to use mindfulness based meditation and again if you wanna study up any of the stuff I’m gonna link to a very comprehensive article I wrote about each technique. Number 3 is yoga, number 4 is Taichi and you can combine those 2 yoga and Taichi in like a flow based nasal deep breathing yoga. Number 5 is coherence which is the use of heart rate variability training. Number 6 is to have hobbies that go outside of that chronic repetitive motion of say just running, swimming, cycling and then number 7 is a solid 8-9 hours of sleep at night period no exceptions. Those are 7 things that you must do consistently if you wanna be in this for the long haul and if you wanna look, feel and perform like a million bucks and still do this whole endurance athlete thing. So that’s number 4, okay so number 5 would be to eat a completely anti-inflammatory diet.
So if you’re gonna beat up your body with the type of glycation that we’ve talked about earlier and oxidation that we’ve talked about earlier, you more than anybody else need to go out of your way to avoid salad dressings that are made with vegetable oil including canola oil. You gonna look at the label or just accept the fact that you’re gonna be an extra virgin olive oil vinaigrette type of person. Any low fat products that have been subjected to protocols that are gonna make inflammatory like homogenization and high heat pasteurization so it include most commercial milk, cheeses, salad dressing, etc. Cookies, baked goods that’s about any packaged or heated baked products, you wanna avoid that. Of course, processed sugars, sodas, juices that type of thing. Most energy bars, most health bars you’d wanna avoid boxed cereals and one that tends to intensify the radar, most powdered proteins unless they’re cold processed like a good cold processed whey based protein that would be fine. So you’re trying to avoid anything that’s heat treated, anything that’s vegetable oil based, anything that is potentially inflammatory particularly inflammatory because it’s been exposed to some type of a man-made process. Now coconut milk for example is technically based on its omega 6 fatty acid content on website like inflammationfactor.com considered to be inflammatory but the fact is that that has mild amount of omega 6 fatty acids in it that do not cause high amounts of inflammation that don’t cause the same type of what’s called eicosanoid release that something like a vegetable oil does. So if you’re looking at foods with inflammatory potential you do need to consider whether or not it’s a natural based inflammation like even something like kale can cause mild amounts of inflammation in the digestive tract but it’s a good kinda almost what’s called a hormetic inflammation that your body responds favorably to vs. unnatural inflammation which we should get from like a heat processed vegetable oil like a canola oil like you’d get from a baked good from Starbucks like that type of thing or a 2% milk at the grocery store. So you more than anybody else need to go out of your way to almost follow like a 100% anti-inflammatory based diet so I know that was a long response but quick review – number 1, monitor your blood and gut, number 2, eat organ meats or take some type of extract that has organ meat extract in it, number 3 would be a minimalist training program, number 4 would be to consistently de-stress everyday and make it a part of your life, and number 5 would be to go completely anti-inflammatory on your diet.
Brock: Love it!
Elle: Hi Ben, I’ve been recently reading more and more about Chi running. I’ve got a dvd been watching a little of that, seems to really make sense but changing my form at this point of a 40 year old woman, I’m really stuck in my old ways and it’s really hard to just do that on your own but I’m just wondering if it’s worth the time to put into the method running called Chi running and it seems to be getting more popular. Okay, thank you, bye.
Ben: All right cool Chi running, we’ve done a two episode I think on Chi running before and I’ll link to that….
Brock: Yeah, you can have Danny Dreyer on the show. That’s a long time ago.
Ben: …. The inventor of chi running and you know….
Brock: I think he says “Chi”.
Ben: I don’t know actually I maybe mispronouncing it.
Brock: Yeah, I think Danny himself said “Chi” that’s my message.
Ben: Yeah, it’s influenced by Taichi which we don’t pronounced as Tai-ki so you’re probably right. So will just say “Chi”. Anyways, so Taichi focuses on things like alignment and relaxation and proper form and controlled breathing and that’s why it works really well for de-stressing you. It helps out with relaxing your legs and your arms, it helps out with mindfulness to knowing where your body is at in space, it helps out with core strength because of the use of
Now if you are in it for the long haul, kinda like barefoot running and you’re willing to learn how to do it properly and not just kinda half ass your chi, so to speak, you could potentially change your run form, get more efficient, gain more economy and do so even if you’re 40 years old and “stuck” in your ways. If you just dabble with it and you don’t really commit to learning every principle and kinda go outside your comfort zone to learn this stuff, that’s when it can kinda almost cause paralysis by analysis as you are out running. Now I’m gonna link to a really good article, it’s actually here at team Timex camp with one of my teammates whose name Bo Parrish and Bo has really interesting story. He had ulcerative colitis and had a change of bunch of things in his life to kinda be an ironman triathlete and adapt to some of the things that his body was throwing at him but he talks about the importance of going outside of your comfort zone sometimes during exercise and that can include going outside your comfort zone mentally and being willing to be uncomfortable so that you change specific movement pattern. If it’s gonna allow you to become more efficient, more economical, decrease your risk of injury, perhaps you even improve your enjoyment during running. Perfect example for me was I picked up on this whole nasal breathing during running thing last year and it has changed my entire approach to running but it was incredibly painful for the first couple of months. I had to go to a track to run so that I can focus on my nasal breathing, so that I can focus on my rhythmic breathing and it took a long time to learn but now that I know it, I can like get in to this flow like the zone at the drop of a hat like be just right in the zone when I’m running and it’s really a cool feeling but it took time to learn. So a few resources that I would point you to: the first is – Amazon has some great chi running products, books, Danny Dreyer’s dvds, I’ll link to those in the show notes. Anytime we link to Amazon from the show notes, it puts a few nickels in our hat if you use our links so go to bengreenfieldfitness.com….
Brock: It’s because you and Amazon draws little money are we?
Ben: That’s right. So go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/275 and check out some of the chi running products will link out to. I’ll link to that article that I mentioned from my Timex teammate Bo Parrish, I’ll link to our previous episode that we did whether chi running is good for you and I have a couple other things that I wanna give to you. The first is that, I actually started to delve into chi running about 3 years ago and found that in order for me to learn how to relax, lean slightly forward, keep those knees slightly bent while I run, I needed some kind of an audio cue while I was running. So what I did was I recorded 10 minutes of audio to remind myself how to run properly and I could play that in my mp3 player when I was out running. Well, I initially only made it available to the athletes who I coach but I’m gonna put that entire recorded audio of chi running tips and cues for you in the show notes. You can go download it as an mp3 file, load it up to your audio player and listen to it when you are out into your run to kinda help bring you into that chi running form if that helps you a little bit. And then the other thing is we have kind of a running form expert on staff over at pacificelitefitness. His name is Graeme Turner, he’s an Australian coach and I’d like to also get him to jump in and give his take on this question so Brock what do think, you’re bringing Graeme on?
Brock: Yeah, we’ve got Graeme standing by. Take it away Graeme.
Graeme: Yeah, thanks for the question I mean I thought it was interesting when you said that you’re worth doing when you’re 40 which is funny when you kinda getting close to the 50 like myself but….
Brock: Me too.
Graeme: ….I see kinda you don’t know whether laugh or cringe when you hear things like that sometimes but I mean at 40 I think it’s important to realize 2 things: you’ve probably got more than half your running life even two thirds of your running life still ahead of you. You’ve got at least another 20 years of actually enjoying running, yeah, but the other thing obviously is that once you get 40 or above like ourselves things like you know to increase by density, to increase in muscle mass, all kind of increase the risk of injury things like shin splints or hippie shoes. So if you’ve got bad technique, that loss of guidance that you almost exacerbate the risk of injury.
Brock: So things you’re able to get away with basically when you’re younger may start to cause more problems as you get “older”.
Graeme: Yeah now that’s exactly right so where you could basically muscle throw up problem now your body is a little bit more susceptible to some of the impacts of bad technique. So short answer to that is, at 40 it’s absolutely worth looking at technique and looking at whether you can run a bit more efficiently or a bit more effectively and we now mention chi running and she’s looking using books, using dvds, chi running oppose to a few different ones. They’re all quite good and probably there’s 2 issues they’ll using books or dvd and the first one is there isn’t really a transition from your current run technique, this how you’re running now and this how they want you to run within these books. So it’s not looking at what you’re doing now and saying how do I involve into this technique. It’s almost binary, it’s one over the other which can make switching technique very very difficult because you said you’re doing one or the other.
Brock: Yeah, that makes sense.
Graeme: And the other issue with doing with books or dvds is it’s hard for her to know if she’s actually doing the right thing. So faith in hands are what we call long labors, it’s hard to actually be aware of where they are in space and you can say this with swimmers where I think their hands are in one position but when you show it on the video it’s in a completely different position. And so while doing the drills and doing the technique without someone who actually knows about the technique looking at her she might be completely doing the wrong thing and again risking injury.
Brock: Yeah, so when she hears or reads in the Chi Running book that you need to forward lean if she’s leaning from say the waist instead of the ankles well still a forward lean but it’s not exactly what they had in mind.
Graeme: Yeah that’s exactly right and also that can be relative. If she someone for example already leans forward and then trying to lean forward even further and can result in her kicking her feet at the back and injuring her feet into the ground so again those expressions need to be relative to the person that’s actually doing the technique.
Brock: Yes supposed conversely if she’s already leaning, if she’s leaning really far back. If she’s one of those very upright runners, she may have moved herself into an upright position rather than a forward lean which I guess is still an improvement but it’s still not the exact technique.
Graeme: Yeah that’s exactly right, exactly right. So while those strategies, while those methods are very good, it might fair to have someone look at her current technique and then recommend specific drills or strengthening exercises by where she is now in order to take away any issues with her current form.
Brock: Yeah, okay. So, that would entail actually finding somebody in the area or would you say that doing something through email or via some videos here and there, would that work?
Graeme: Yeah. Like for example I look at a lot of tables running technique I just get them to video on my iPhone and either sends through the file or put that up on YouTube and you can go through there and look at the angles and recommend what it needs to be done. So, obviously working with someone face to face is best because you can get direct feedback on what you’re doing but don’t be limited by that fact that you have to find someone you look clearly. With technology it’s quite easy to look at people’s run technique and kind of involve in that.
Brock: Yeah, you could put it up on YouTube and see how many people like your video and that’ll determine whether your run technique is getting better.
Graeme: Yeah, that’s a pretty good point. Although, people do get nervous by putting videos up on YouTube ‘cause obviously you can put that up as hidden videos so that only people… yeah, so for people who are self conscious do exactly that about people laughing about their run techniques so it’s not quite that scary.
Brock: Cool, so you just recommend that she, she really instead of working from a book or from a dvd find somebody to actually help her transition rather than doing that “this is the way you’re running, this is that way you should be running, ok go.”
Graeme: Yeah, exactly exactly.
Brock: Alright! I like it! What do you think, Ben?
Ben: Well, it was good to have Graeme’s take on that and it’s never a podcast without our token Australian accent so that was also nice to get the oz on call.
Graeme: Yeah, sorry Ben I’m not really sure what kind of accent you’re talking about mate?
Brock: (giggles) All right, thanks, Graeme!
Graeme: Thanks, guys!
Jaime: Hi Ben! I was wondering if you could enlighten us and your listeners out there that might be interested in eating deer meat. My dad is a hunter and I expect that I have some meat coming for me this winter and was wondering if there was anything that I should know about that kind of meat and organs that hopefully I’ll be able to get from that. Thanks so much!
Brock: I don’t know about you but I love deer meat. Venison is one of my favorite meats.
Ben: Yeah, you’re kind of though like a, you’re like a savage. Don’t you jump out of trees and up there in Canada and just kinda sink your teeth into the back hive of a deer?
Brock: Yeah. My street here in Toronto, I just dangle from a tree branch until a deer walks by and just drops on its back.
Ben: Yeah, you just knock it out with a hockey stick.
Brock: Actually, occasionally during the show I’ll just run outside and do that.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Brock: There’s one now!
Ben: Also, let’s ask – I personally hunt. I take a white tail deer up here, every year, and keep the meat and the chest in the freezer. I certainly eat deer, but whether or not it’s better than eating beef you can definitely make some comparison. There are pros and cons.
Brock: You mean like, better in terms of nutrition not better in terms of flavor.
Ben: Both, really. So when you look at nutrition, deer or leaner, they’re typically more wild, they’re typically more active than cattle. So venison is gonna have less fat than beef. So about 3 ounces of beef has around 15 grams of fat and 3 ounces of Venison has about 3 grams of fat. Venison has also less saturated fat than beef does. I’m not saying that fat is bad, I’m just saying that because of its activity, Venison tends to have less fat. Now that can influence flavor, it can make it more chewy and it can often because fat is a flavor carrier or it can make it less flavorful too, unless it’s prepared properly. Slow cooked for example and marinated. But Venison also has more vitamins and minerals per serving than beef does because it’s an active animal, for example, in the Tour De France, there’s some teams that eat horse, for many of these advantages prior to their big stages because of its active nature, it’s richer in mitochondria. It has higher levels of iron, higher levels of B Vitamins, and there’s also this component called L Carnitine and L Carnitine is something that can actually allow for increased uptake of fatty acids in the mitochondria to be used for the production of ATP and Venison is actually higher in L Carnitine than beef is. So, it’s got that going for it as well. So, I would say the night for like a say like the night before a big workout or something like that, Venison is probably gonna serve you a little better than beef. So, it’s got that going for it. When we look at flavor, I think Venison has sometimes a little bit of a gamey flavor, but that’s something that, to me, is almost… You know, when I hunt a deer and I kill it and I’m eating that meat, to me, I almost, call me like again like a wild savage or whatever but I almost kinda like that gamey flavor. There are ways you can prepare Venison that make it tastes pretty good and we don’t have time to get in Venison recipes on this podcast per say but again slow cooking, marinating, use in some lemon juice and stuff like that to break down some of the fibers, it can be really good. Beef, definitely, it’s tender, it’s fattier, it’s more succulent, but I would say both have advantages when it comes to taste they’re just different animals really literally and figuratively. So, cost is kind of interesting, some people think it’s cheaper to hunt your own food but in most cases, a deer is gonna be really expensive because you get your hunting license, and a hunting license is gonna range from 20-30 dollars (depending on what state that you live in) and then once you actually take into account the amount of money spent on hunting gear, guns, ammo, trip expenditures (if you’re actually going to the wilderness to get your deer), it can range anything from 500 to 1000 dollars once you actually get the deer. So, if you factor in that on the average deer, you might get about 60 lbs. or so of meat. You’re looking at anywhere from 15-30 dollars a pound, all in. So it’s not necessarily an economical way to go versus whatever 4-10 dollars a pound for beef so I would say from a cost standpoint there is definitely advantage to beef. Now, there are some exceptions.
Like me, for example, I have ten acres in Washington State, I’ve got a gun, got ammo, I can go out with a 21 dollar license and take a deer for an extra nothing and that’s something that I can bring in to the butcher who lives literally about 5 blocks from my house, have her prepared into sausages and Venison, keep the bones for bone broths and bone marrow and I’m good to go for probably close to 2-3 dollars a pound, so it kinda depends on what’s available to you. There’s also some help…
Brock: Sounds like Jamie’s in that similar situation with her dad going out hunting and going home so…
Ben: Yep. So there are some health considerations. So this issue with chronic wasting disease, what you hear about, this is this degenerative brain disease, kinda like mad cow disease. Nobody wants to get mad dear disease (also known as spongiform encephalopathy) and that can literally eat away your nervous system. It’s been around for a while. It comes from consuming certain parts of an infected animal and there are just best practices to follow if you are going to eat Venison. So for example, you really shouldn’t eat the eyes, the brain, the spinal cord, the spleen, the tonsils, or the lymph nodes of any deer. And most butchers are going to know how to make sure that you’re not actually eating those parts of the deer. If you’re butchering yourself, you’re gonna make sure that you’re pretty careful. I mean, I feel dressed my deer and I’m very careful to make sure that the bacteria from the stomach or the intestine or the anus isn’t actually spread to the meat during that gutting process. But once you actually bring it in to a butcher, you wanna make sure that they’re ensuring that you’re not getting pieces of some of these organs that tend to build up this chronic wasting disease protein in them so eye, brain, spinal cord that type of stuff….
Brock: Yeah, you got the butcher doing sausages for you, that’s where the problem could come into when they’re grinding it up, getting munched up.
Ben: Exactly so, yeah, especially with deer, you wanna be careful with that kind of bacterial of protein contamination. Most good butchers are pretty good these days. It’s usually people who are butching themselves or I don’t know who’s out there eating dear eyes but folks doing that, that’s where they could get some of these issues caused by what are called prions, so I’d be careful with that. You wanna make sure that as far as the lymph nodes go that you do what’s called “boning out the meat”, you could just ask your butcher to do this and make sure that they just remove any of the fat in the weblike membrane, the fascia, that’s attached to the meat and that helps to get rid of some of these lymph nodes where the prions might reside. So as long as you make sure that you take care of that, honestly, I think that Venison is almost safer than beef when you hear about these people getting sick from E coli, you know hamburgers and stuff like that, I see a lot less out there as far as Venison goes compared to beef. So ultimately, there are some definite health benefits and I think that it’s a nice healthy sporting activity, I think that there are some ethical consideration. I know that some people aren’t fans of eating deer because of the whole killing Bambi’s mom thing and I just wanna clarify, like, if I shoot a deer, I’m very careful that I don’t kill it when it’s running scared so it’s got really low amounts of cortisol. I’d take it with a very well intention shot, I’ll never shoot if it’s running or moving, I’m very very careful from that standpoint not to be ruining any Disney movies, so ultimately, consent to deer meats for me is go for it and sounds like you too Brock.
Brock: Two thumbs up. And you know what else I give two thumbs up for? I just saw the FedEx truck arrive outside my house which means my gunner glasses, just arrived!
Ben: Oh, you’re gonna run out there and rip open the box, put ‘em on and run back in here?
Brock: It’s like Christmas morning!
Ben: Do it.
Brock: I’ll be right back.
Jas: Hey Ben, this is Jas. I love the show. I was just wondering if you could talk about the consequences of, I suppose, taking progesterone - specifically taking progesterone in order to induce the menstrual cycle in a female who is not lacking her menstrual cycle because of fitness but was just born in that way. What are the positives and negatives of taking these hormone replacements, and if you have any references so I could look up and some literature I could read up on, that’d be great. Thanks!
Ben: So this is really interesting that she actually said she’s not amenorrhic from exercise but was born that way?
Brock: Yeah, I think that’s probably I’m guessing that sort of a turn of phrase ‘cause obviously she would’ve had to wait a number of years before knowing that.
Ben: Yeah, I don’t know. Lady Gaga was born that way. Possibly also true.
That’s actually called primary amenorrhea when you basically have absence of menstruation but you didn’t get that way by actually experiencing a hormonal deficit or something like that or digging yourself into a hole from a hormonal standpoint, usually it’s the shape of your genital or your pelvic organs, sometimes there are actually parts of those organs missing that would be responsible for causing primary amenorrhea but of course, I’m sure that there are many women out there listening, based on the demographic of our audience who also have amenorrhea, who maybe were born that way. Before we talk about progesterone use, the idea behind this is when an athlete, especially a sporting female, develops amenorrhea it’s usually called hypothalamic amenorrhea or functional hypothalamic amenorrhea. It’s caused by stress; it’s caused by excessive weight loss; it’s caused by excessive exercise; or in most cases, kind of a combination of all three. So, the way that this works is that when you have an energy imbalance through not eating enough calories or exercising a lot and you get weight loss, that disrupts your menstrual cycle. So, the way it works is that weight loss can cause an elevation in a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is normally a hormone that would make you hungry but also in high amounts can inhibit what’s called you hypothalamic pituitary ovarian axis. So, elevated levels of ghrelin alter the ability of your hypothalamus and subsequently your pituitary to release luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone and those are the two hormones that maintain normal ovulation. So, once you get a bunch of ghrelin released, because you are sending a signal to your body, that there is not much energy around, it naturally, in this kinda makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint, once you start to think about it, it naturally shuts down your fertility. So if you were going through a period of starvation or you were traditionally from an ancestral standpoint part of a culture that didn’t have access to much food, it wouldn’t make much sense to be propagating the population at the same time as that. So the body has its natural way to just kinda shut down fertility once you put yourself into a situation where, let’s say, a baby you might bring to the world would be under a lot of stress, it kinda saves your body for a different point. So, part of that might be just because females are born with finite number of eggs, I’m not really sure of the exact biological mechanism but anyways, it’s high levels of ghrelin that actually caused that hypothalamus pituitary ovarian axis down regulation. So the other thing that can happen is you get low levels of the hormone leptin. In females when they drop their body weight, especially when they drop their body weight quickly, and leptin is necessary also to maintain regular menstrual cycles and you tend to see low levels of leptin or leptin insensitivity caused by excessive exercise or very very low caloric intake or a combination of both. Leptin is one of the things that indicates to your brain the amount of energy balance, and the amount of fat stores that you have, so once you begin to get very very decreased levels of leptin, that’s pretty correlated to low levels of body fat and that also slows the pulsing release of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. This is kind of a classic precursor or those hand-in-hands with what’s called the female athlete triad which is amenorrhea, osteoporosis, which is another serious issue, and then also disordered eating, either an obsession with food or wanting complete control over food or simply really restricting calories and there’s a lot of women, unfortunately, that have this. Now, you can be more genetically prone to this type of issue, to this hypothalamic amenorrhea. There have been some studies have been done recently that showed that some women are genetically more prone to it whereas some women can just kinda go hard and go for a long period of time, beat up their bodies and get into endurance exercise and not have a cause that’s same amount of hormonal deficit it’s probably just based off of your genes coming from maybe folks who got to sit around a lot and be fat and happy and you know maybe their bodies just get thrown for a complete loop when they get exposed to have to go run 13 miles or some folks who maybe come from a little bit stronger, hunter gather population who kinda don’t have quite that same curveball thrown at their body. You know my wife comes from hardy, Montana rancher genes and she sustains most times a year, eight to ten percent body fat, and she never misses a period and that’s just the way her body works. She’s definitely not one of those people who are genetically prone to amenorrhea, whereas some women would just be on the couch and fall on over trained adrenal fatigue, full amenorrhic getting even close that level body fat percentage, that level of activity.
So, I’ll link in the show notes to some interesting genetic studies that have been done that show that there are specific mutations in specific genes that can predispose women to hypothalamic amenorrhea. So, in terms of the progesterone issue here, now the idea behind progesterone is that it’s kind of considered as the sexy hormone so it’s very very common for women these days to have what’s called estrogen dominance. So, estrogen is something that increases fat storage when it’s an excess it impairs thyroid function, in can lead to endometriosis, it can increase risk of breast cancer, it can create bloating and gas, and progesterone kinda does all the opposites of that. It stimulates fat burning, up regulates the thyroid, it reduces bloating, it supports blood sugar balance. And so when you use a progesterone cream, in many cases, what you’re doing is restoring proper hormone balance to your body. One of the reasons this works very well in, for example, endurance athletes is because of a pregnenalone steel. So pregnenalone is a hormone precursor and it could get converted into cortisol or get converted into progesterone. So, when you’re exercising a lot producing a lot of cortisol, you don’t produce quite as much progesterone so you get a combination of both progesterone deficiency and the subsequent estrogen dominant symptoms that can go along with that. That’s one of the reasons that endurance sports can make some females look fat and bloated is because they get progesterone depletion, sometimes and sometimes not accompanied by this amenorrhea and estrogen dominance. A progesterone cream is a form of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and that’s not to be confused with HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy. Hormone Replacement Therapy is when you extract estrogen from pregnant horses and literally inject that into the body, whereas bio-identical hormone replacement therapy takes hormones, usually from plant sterols and puts those into the body and usually those are done via like a bio-identical natural progesterone cream or progesterone sublingual tablet, progesterone capsule, sometimes progesterone injection. I would encourage you to actually be pretty careful with using progesterone and there are a few reasons why. The first is that progesterone is a band-aid for a symptom and there are women out there who find that progesterone helps to increase their sex drive or can bring their period back when they’re doing a lot of exercise, but they never address the cortisol issue, they just dump a bunch of progesterone into their body to allow them to continue to make a bunch of cortisol well at the same time putting exogenous progesterone into the body and that not only is just a band-aid for an underlying symptom of needing to control stress and maybe recover better, but it also creates what I would consider to be the second problem with progesterone and that’s this negative feedback loop. So most of the hormones in your body are governed by a negative feedback loop and it works kinda like the thermostat in your house. So if you set the thermostat in your house to 72 degrees and the room temperature is 69 degrees, then the heater in the room is gonna kick in to warm the temperature in the room up and when the temperature reaches 72 degrees, the heat shuts off again until the temperature drops again, and so when you take a hormone like progesterone, it can shut off that hormone negative feedback loop so it would be like heating a room by space heater, for example, the space heater would be the exogenous progesterone that you’re taking or you’re smearing on your body, and so your natural furnace just shuts off because it’s not needed anymore and that means that when you take a progesterone cream or use a progesterone product, that causes your body to rely on that product and to not produce your natural hormones anymore once you quit taking that product. It’s the same negative feedback loop that causes me to encourage guys not to take testosterone creams or testosterone patches or testosterone injections.
Brock: Just to take your furnace idea a little bit further, so does that mean that the pile of light actually goes out in the furnace because you’re using the space heater too much?
Ben: Exactly. It would be basically the furnace shuts off because it’s not needed anymore.
Brock: So the furnace doesn’t just come back on as soon as the space heater’s gone.
Ben: Nope. It shuts off ‘cause it’s not needed and in the case of most hormones, it takes in more from 6-12 months for that furnace to turn back on and you feel really crappy during that process. Another issue is that progesterone cream can cause progesterone resistance. If you’re not monitoring your use, if you’re not testing under close supervision with a medical practitioner your use of progesterone an excess of any hormone including progesterone can cause cell receptor insensitivity to that hormone.
And so it’s the same as insulin, when you eat too much sugar, your pancreas pumps out a bunch of insulin and your cells eventually become insulin insensitive because there’s constantly insulin circulating in the blood stream so you need more and more insulin and your pancreas poops out eventually, and you get diabetes. Progesterone, you dump a bunch of progesterone, or guys you dump a bunch or testosterone into your body, and you can eventually create a cell receptor insensitivity to that hormone needing more and more hormones to actually make it work. So that kinda leads the last issue with progesterone that I have and that is that it’s very hard to use without proper medical supervision and most people don’t go out of their way to work with something like a Wiley practitioner. A Wiley practitioner is someone who is well versed in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy but is well versed in terms of being in able to test you and work with a compounding pharmacist in your area to adjust your dose. Now, that sounds like quite a bit to go through and it certainly is compared to ordering cream on Amazon or sublingual progesterone on Amazon and using that and just kinda like taking it willy nilly and keeping your fingers crossed that you’re doing it right. So, if anybody out there’s gonna be using progesterone at least say work with a Wiley practitioner who’s well versed in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and who is willing to work with a compounding pharmacist to adjust your dosage every month based off of where your levels are at and then also understand that, in many cases if you’re like competing and something like triathlons or marathons or anything where you’re being monitored by like the World Anti-doping Association, you can’t use these stuff anyways, it’s illegal, it’s gonna get you banned or get a podium or a medal or whatever taken away.
Brock: Well, you can get a letter from your doctor; you can get one of those exemption certificates.
Ben: Those are really hard to get unless you’re freakin’ old and extremely deficient and in most cases, like I mentioned, this is just a band-aid for an underlying symptom of having too much stress, and I mean, freakin’ rewind this podcast 40 minutes and go back and listen to what I said about organ meats and reducing stress and minimalist training and all the things that you can do to fight of a lot of things that chronic cardio does to your body. Believe it or not, a lot of those same things help women who have amenorrhea reduce stress, exercise less, eat really nutritious foods, sleep more, I mean those are the same type of things I recommend so, as far as progesterone goes, I’d be really careful with it and I would make sure that you work with a Wiley practitioner, ideally.
Jlynam: Hi, I’m listening on PaleoCon talking about barefoot running and walking and standing. What would you say to somebody that has varicose veins and were supposed to support the legs and the veins for health and not suppose to be standing for long periods of time and without any support. What would you say to that? Thank you.
Brock: So, I didn’t know what you talked about at the PaleoCon. Talking about trying barefoot, I guess?
Ben: Yeah, there’s a bunch of stuff. What’s our link for paleo conzep, bengreenfieldfitness.com/paleocon? Okay, cool. So that was an online paleo event I did indeed talk about standing work stations and like we mentioned, I’m standing right now and I am wearing compression shorts from about mid-thigh up to my booty and I’m wearing skins compression sleeves from my ankle up to my knees. So I am decked up in compression here and Brock is pantless. So there you go. There’s your visual.
Brock: I am wearing compression socks.
Ben: Pantless with compression socks. And the reason I do that, I wear a graduated compression sock which basically pumps the blood up through the leg and keeps those vein valves from having to be over worked. The reason I do that is the exact reason that Jlynam is concerned about varicose veins is because when you spend a lot of time on your feet, gravity does its work and eventually those veins can get blocked up. Now we’ve done some very…
Brock: Damn you gravity!
Ben: Damn gravity. We’ve done some very comprehensive podcast on varicose veins honestly. Like we’ve done two of them and I’m gonna link them on the show notes where I go to everything from using an inversion table at the end of a long day or using the yoga inversion poses that I’m gonna link to in the show notes to using compression gear and I’ll include all of our discount codes for compression gear in the show notes to using these graduated compression socks. There’s a bunch that you can get, like I mentioned I’m wearing the skins brand right now and they’re one of our sponsors for team Timex which is why I’ve got a suitcase full of those.
And then we also talked about herbs and blends that you could use for varicose veins, some of the best ones being grape seed extract, and then funny names but, horse chestnut extract and butcher’s broom, and those would be if you already have varicose veins, those can help those to clear up. Essentially though this is really simple, you simple defy gravity, wear compression gear, compression socks, compression leggings, that kinda stuff, and you get inverted every now and again, you change positions as you are in your standing work station, so like right now I have a chair next to me so I’ve had my right foot up on that chair for some of the podcast, I’ve been standing on both feet for some of the podcast, I’ve had my left foot up on the chair for some of the podcast…. I’ve been…..
Brock: Sometimes you put your foot up on some area in a Captain Morgan kind of pose.
Ben: Kinda, Captain. I’ve got my arms folded across my chest and I’m looking out on the horizon with like…
Brock: And of course you’ve got your pirate hat.
Ben: Yeah, and my pirate hat, exactly. Very Old Spice. And Of course, I’m shirtless, as usual. I mean like, I don’t wanna blow off your question but I’ll put a link to all of the previous things that we’ve done on varicose veins but I mean, the one biggest thing that you could do is get a compression sock, not just any compression sock, but what’s called a graduated compression sock, which starts with high pressure lowered down and lowers that pressure going farther up your legs so that you’re just naturally pumping blood back up to your heart and at bengreenfieldfitness.com/275, I will put the mother load of links and resources for you on varicose veins.
Brock: So I think the only thing that needs to be pointed out right here is that you’re saying to wear compression socks, she’s asking about going barefoot. So I think that it’s sort of just some semantic issue here like barefoot isn’t necessarily like no socks, no shoes, like completely barefoot, it’s not wearing big built-up shoes.
Ben: I’m barefoot right now, but I’m wearing compression sleeves and that’s not the way to go. The only real difference between wearing socks and going completely barefoot is you do still get more stimulation of nerve endings and proprioceptors when you are really, like truly, barefoot. And that’s why even like if you’re doing barefoot running with vibrams for example, like sometimes just going to a park and taking off your vibrams and just running on a grass is a good idea.
Natalie: Hey, Ben. My name is Natalie. I have the Genova Diagnostics: I have the blood panel, and one of the things they tested for was toxins such as mercury, arsenic, and aluminum. Unfortunately all three of mine were very high. I cut out fish for a month, I stopped using deodorant, and my second test results, the aluminum went down significantly, the mercury, unfortunately was still high so we narrowed that down to my amalgam fillings which I’m going through the process of taking care of. But the arsenic was high on the first and second test. My physician said that it could be from rice that she knows that sometimes rice has a lot of arsenic in it but I don’t really eat rice, maybe once a week. And I heard on one of your podcast that you have mentioned about arsenic and protein powder. I do have usually about three protein shakes a week and so I was wondering if maybe this was where it was originating from. So I’d love to know if arsenic is indeed found in protein powder, any other areas that you can think of that it may be found in, either something I’m eating or something in my home and suggestions for a protein powder that would be high quality enough that you can sure that sort of toxin was not in it. Thanks so much!
Ben: Well I did a really interesting podcast episode with Doctor David Minkoff, it was called “How Hidden Sources of Heavy Metals Are Destroying Your Health and What You Can Do About It” I will certainly put a link to that in the show notes for this episode but we talked with Dr. Minkoff about how metal exposure can cause everything from chronic fatigue, to poor mood, to disrupted sleep, to headaches, to immune issues, to low hormones, to brain fog and….
Brock: Didn’t it actually cause some paralysis in his wife?
Ben: Yeah, like it – like that’s how he knows so much about it. Really messed up his wife and I’d actually got to meet her at the Superhuman Conference that we did and she’s doing awesome now and she’s beautiful and functions just fine.
Brock: Yes and she looks fantastic!
Ben: Yeah I mean she looks like 30 years old and I think she is. I think she’s in her 60’s but anyways, the biggest culprit for metal exposure is just like you mentioned Brock, modern dentistry and that’s what Dr. Minkoff’s wife was exposed to and even though about 50% of dentist in the U.S. are pretty much mercury free now only about 10% of them actually understand the health risks that are associated with dental amalgams which is basically just toxic mercury.
Despite what the misleading term silver filling might lead you to believe. So, if you wanna really get rid of heavy metals and the potential damage to organs like your liver and your kidneys and the potential toxicity from those, you wanna get rid of those fillings and we’ve done previous episodes on kinda some options for everything from root canals to natural fillings but that would be number 1 would be to find the holistic dentist to make sure that there’s not anything going on in your mouth and in that….
Brock: That sounds like Natalie got that sort of, she is getting it taken cared of.
Ben: Before other people listening in, if you’re not sorting that then do it. Now Natalie got the Genova diagnostics ion blood panel. That’s really good blood panel. There’s another one from Directlabs called the metametrics ion panel. The metametrics ion panel is also really good one for looking at heavy metals and the other sources that you’d wanna look out would pollution or smog that can be a contributor, car keys believe it or not can be an issue as can toys.
Brock: (laughs) What are you doing with the car keys?
Ben: Yeah, don’t you on your car keys….
Brock: Taking stuff with your teeth with your keys…
Ben: …..pesticides and herbicides if you eat a lot of non-organic fruits and vegetables. Those can have arsenic and metals in them, lakes or rivers if you do a lot of open water swimming; like Lake Coeur D’Alene up by my house, beautiful pristine lake where they have Ironman Coeur D’Alene in one of the most polluted lakes in the country because of mining run off from all the mines that still dug the perimeter of that lake. Food that stored in metal containers, if you know a lot of canned foods that can be an issue. Some of the bigger big big fish that eat other fish like tuna and dolphin, you can get some metals accumulating in those. Bio-accumulation of heavy metals in fish is not as big an issue because you get a lot of selenium in fish which can be bind and removed, a lot of heavy metals but ton of that, it can be an issue as can potentially nuclear run-off from Japan but I talked about that a little bit last week and how it’s fully not as big an issue as like pesticides and herbicides and stuff like that and then of course a lot of protein powders and dietary supplements can have heavy metals in them too so you know you wanna make sure any powder you get is preferably from what’s called a CGMP certified facility. Regardless I mean, some of the stuff you simply can’t eliminate from your surroundings or from your life so what I personally do is once a year I do a metal detox. So what a metal detox does is it collates metals and removes them from your body and when you bind heavy metals and pull them out of your body, they generally exit your body via your stool, your urine, your hair, your breath, and your sweat. And there are some forms of chelation that can cause some serious problems because they will extract along with heavy metals from your body other minerals. They can also simply take minerals from parts of your body and have them wind up in your bloodstream where they can potentially cross the blood brain barrier and cause some pretty serious issues. So the only type of chelation that I’m a fan of is called a peptide base chelation and peptides are really short protein chains and the way that they interact with metals like arsenic is they wrap around the metals in such a way that the metals are not free to interfere with or to block normal cellular process it’s called cage binding. So rather than chelating precious minerals from your body or allowing metals that have been chelated to wind up in the bloodstream interacting with other cellular processes the peptides actually form this cage around things like mercury and arsenic and lead or aluminum or uranium and then it simply removes mostly via your stool in this case in the case of peptide base chelator. So I used this stuff called metal free – it’s a spray, you spray it sublingually, I don’t do it all the time, I just do it for 30 days out of the year and that would be the number 1 thing that I would do, I mean, it’s possible that you’re getting some arsenic from like brown rice has some arsenic, it’s more likely that it’s multi-factorial and you’re getting in it from a bunch of different sources and so I would say, clean up and detox as much as possible but also I would do at least like a 30 day protocol something like this metal free and then this protein powder that you talked about, I don’t know what brand it is pretty much the only 2 protein powder brands that I currently vouch for though are the Mt. Capra stuff which is a cold process based whey protein and then the stuff made by Living Fuel out of Florida and that’s called – that’s a vegan alternative and that’s called Living Protein like those 2 I know are good and they’ve been independently tested by third parties and free of heavy metals and all that jazz so I do the metal free formula and switch out the protein powders and then I also – if you’re listening in and you do wanna test for metals, I’ll put a link in the show notes to the metametrics ion panel through Directlabs.
Brock: Hey, Did you notice something about all the colors so far?
Brock: They all ladies.
Ben: Oh yeah baby.
Brock: Except for this next one.
Ben: You mean Brock and I. Oh man….
Brock: Certainly the next one, yeah. So with this last one and then we get to our big gear giveaway but first the dude.
Shai: Hi Ben, I hope you well. Just another question, so one of your post you recommended the magnetico sleep pad. I’ve actually knows well that you actually use the earth pulse and I did know you did recommend using both together so I’m just wondering what is your preference and why? Thanks very much.
Ben: Maybe Shai is just a lady with deep voice though we keep our 100% or I’m going….
Brock: Sorry man you are now an official lady.
Ben: All right Shai, so magnetico sleep pad vs. earth pulse. We’re now scaring everybody who’s never heard of these things far away I’m sure. So this is just a case of different things that you can sleep on that are going to help your body to recover while you are asleep or to mitigate some of the effects of say like electro-magnetic fields while you are asleep. So for example, this earth pulse is pulsed electro-magnetic field therapy or PEMF. It is a magnet and you place it underneath your mattress and it pulses a magnetic field that’s very very close to the same frequency that is emitted by say the planet earth while you are asleep. And by pulsing this field up through the mattress while you’re asleep, you can enhance everything from healing of cell membrane to mitochondrial density, it can help with stress fractures injuries stuff like that. Now some people when they use the earth pulse complain that they’ll use it for a few days and it will really help with sleep and then it won’t help with sleep anymore and I’ve been looking into this because like for example when I’ve been travelling a bunch if I don’t have my earth pulse with me and I get home and I’ll use it for a few nights, I will sleep like a freakin’ baby and sometimes I do notice that some of the effects almost seem to kinda wear off after a few days of not using it going back into using it. So part of this is explained by this mat called the magnetico mat and the way that this magnetico mat is made is that it doesn’t elicit or release a what’s called a bipolar field. So a bipolar field is a positive electrical field and a negative electrical field. When your body gets exposed to a positive magnetic field it will slow down the movement of electrons and protons so it slows down some of the electro chemical activity. Now your body response to this slowing down by kinda shutting down blood flow, decreasing activity and really helping get into this deep sleep state but the problem appears to be that when you have constant exposure to this alternating current of bipolar fields while your asleep, what it can eventually become is almost like a stimulant because you get to a point where your body slows down so much that your brain almost has this emergency response and a little bit of a release of endorphins while you’re asleep and this is possibly why some people say they’re use like an earth pulse and they wake up at 2 or 3 am after they’ve used it for a week and kinda stop like a baby. So that’s the difference between something like a magnetico sleep mat and an earth pulse is the magnetico is only a uni-directional magnetic field whereas the earth pulse is a bipolar magnetic field. So this would be a situation where it be different applications for different situations. The earth pulse seems to work really really well for about as long as a week when you need some intense recovery, recovery from jet lag, when you’re travelling and when you have it with you to reduce some of the deleterious effects of airline travel and you need something nice and portable to do that, when you’re injured and you need to cause some frequency like in an area where there’s stress fracture that type of thing but if you find yourself waking up after using an earth pulse for a set number of days you either just use it throughout the year at points where you need it like if you’ve done a really hard workout, after you returned from travel that type of thing and then the other times you don’t use a magnet or you use something like this uni-directional magnetico sleep pad. So that’s the deal with the magnets, now as far as magnetico vs. something like a biomat, well, a biomat isn’t a magnet at all.
So I will actually use a biomat and an earth pulse at the same time. What a biomat is infrared, so it releases infrared waves and it actually releases infrared waves that are at what are called a higher micron or a greater micron frequency than what like an infrared light would release. Now infrared has been used for a long time as a way to increase blood flow to naturally heat the body and to improve physiological function especially glandular function like healing of adrenal fatigue and that type of thing. The issue is that sometimes these infrared saunas don’t work quite as well as a higher micron length when it comes to the actual infrared waves like that it released. So these biomat releases far infrared, it also releases what are called negative ions now negative ions are the same type of things you’d get when you expose yourself to grounding or earthing or magnets and so the biomat gives you some of the benefits of magnetizing without the actual use of a magnet and it does that via crystals that are embedded throughout the biomat so it’s kinda heavy that’s why I don’t like ‘cause you can’t travel with it but for home it works really really well. It’s got what are called amethyst crystals and tourmaline crystals in it and those really specific way forms that actually deliver negative ions into your body so the infrared rays penetrate about 6-8 inches into your body, they’re completely healthy as not like microwaving or anything like that, it’s just natural electro-magnetic energy and then the addition of the amethyst and the tourmaline allow for the integration of negative ions, better blood flow, more of that healthy body detox type of effect you’d get if you slept just like on the ground, in touch with the earth. That’s the reason why professional teams in Tour De France coached by or who had Dr. Jeff Spencer who first introduced me to grounding and earthing why they would use this in between their stages along with their horse meat instantly. So the biomat is something you would use in conjunction with either a magnetico or an earth pulse or you could use it all by yourself but it’s way different than a magnetico sleep mat so biomat is infrared and crystals and a magnetico is just magnets and if we have anybody left listening aside from the people wearing aluminum foil hats now we are really lucky, but either way I’ll link to the biomat, the magnetico and the earth pulse in the show notes for anybody who just wants to check that stuff out. What I personally do is I use an earth pulse when I need to use it, I use a biomat almost everyday especially for naps and then I of course wear my aluminum tin foil hat at all times.
Brock: I need to point out that the biomat also repels dragons and orcs.
Ben: Hmm, that’s right.
Brock: And so if you’re having any trouble with dragons and orcs….
Ben: And it comes with the tiny hobbit sword that glows.
Brock: It sure does.
Ben: And I believe that’s the first time I’ve actually used the phrase “tiny hobbit sword” on the podcast. (laughs)
Brock: And the last…. Anway, let’s move on to our iTunes review and giveaways and stuff shall we?
Ben: That’s right so if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear you can get the Ben Greenfield fitness beanie, the tech shirt and of course the bpa-free water bottle and you can support the show and pick those up for yourself as a gear pack for 47 bucks but we also giveaway this gear pack once a week to people who go to iTunes and click and leave us a review. So this week’s review is a five star review, I don’t think….
Brock: I usually read it but I can’t actually see through my gunner glasses at the moment ‘cause they still have those – the plastic shield on the lenses and I can’t seem to get it off so you’re gonna have to read it.
Ben: Or maybe just slack it and pick a review so I’m gonna read one.
Brock: Yeah, just make something out.
Ben: Oh okay, so it’s a 5 star review (I wouldn’t read it if it wasn’t a 5 star by the way, just a hint to those who have reviews). It’s by Sniki-Tiki, so Sniki-Tiki if you heard us reading your review, write in to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your address. And here’s what Sniki-Tiki has to say, “Ben Greenfield fitness is one of only a few podcast that I listen to and enjoy.” First of all, Sniki-Tiki you’re cheating on us if you’re listening to other podcast so stop that now. “These podcasts are filled to overflow with useful content. I have a 2 hour commute each way to work and I’m always in need of something to listen to.” Dude, how bad.
“I wish you would increase the frequency of the shows (yes, that can happen) but I understand that he has…..
Brock: Twice a week isn’t enough!
Ben: He has a real life outside of iTunes.” No, actually I don’t have a real life outside of iTunes. It just takes me so freakin’ long to put together this podcast that I can only do too weak. I don’t know how guys like Joe Rogan do like 3 – like 6 hour podcast a week, it’s crazy! Of course, I don’t have the sponsors or the audience that Joe Rogan has and I’m not funny and I don’t drink weed before we record. “I highly recommend anything that Ben produces and or appears on. Great job! Keep them coming!”
Ben: Anything! I think we may go out for tele tubbies and see what Sniki-Tiki thinks of that! Yeah, baby! All right folks, well, if you want links to everything we’ve talked about in today’s show, head over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/275, we’ve got all over there and until next week.
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